Saturday, 23 October 2010


The great thing about going on holiday is sampling the local fare.  No, haven't been on hols recently, neither likely to in near future  :0(  We like to recreate our favourite dishes at home - I guess it's to relive the fun had in sunnier climes when there was nothing more important than, "What shall I wear today?" or "Where shall we eat?"
Paella packed with squid, scallops, prawns and chorizo

Our first holiday together was almost six years ago when hubbs took me away to Spain for a week.  Neither of us had visited Spain so it was a first on many counts.  A popular dish is Paella.  It has several variants; true Valencian Paella (where dish originates) includes rabbit, chicken, beans, seafood or snails.  Seafood is just a mix of prawns, mussels, clams, langoustine and crab.  There is even one made with squid ink!  At home, I make a mixed paella which contains, chorizo (cured, smoked pork sausage which contains spices and paprika), chicken and seafood.

This is how I make mine at home - although I may change the seafood each time I make it the basis is the same.
Scallops halved and squid cut into rings.


1 onion, chopped
3 chicken wings, jointed then each joint cut in half, tips discarded
150 g chorizo, 1cm cubes, or 0.5cm slices cut in half
paella rice (I measure in a jug up to the 8fl oz mark)
Cooked Tiger Prawns that I used as garnish instead of mussels
1 pepper, red for colour but not essential, cut in small strips
handful of peas
few saffron threads
1 fish stock cube
raw seafood: scallops, prawns, squid, mussels - any mix of your choice,

Chorizo is richly flavoured with paprika which gives it wonderful colour and flavour

The bright sunny colour from just a few strands of saffron

Soak the saffron threads in a little hot water to infuse.  Leave aside for later.

Keep close eye on the chorizo - don't let it frazzle like I did!
Put the chicken pieces and chorizo in a deep frying pan (I use a non-stick pan so I don't even worry about heating it up first and make sure pan is large enough as everything is cooked in it).  I don't add oil as there will be oil from the chicken wings and the chorizo is fatty too.  Fry lightly so the chicken begins to go golden and the chorizo browns lightly.  Remove the chorizo and keep aside for later.  I take it out now because I don't like it to get too hard and crispy.

Add the chopped onion and continue to fry gently until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.  Tip in the rice and stir to coat all the rice grains in the fragrant chorizo-infused oil.  Keep stirring and frying over a low heat for 1-2 minutes

Dissolve the fish stock cube in 1 pint of water and add to the pan.  Pour in the saffron threads and water.  Turn the flame up to bring the liquid to boil, then turn down to simmer. 
Return the chorizo to the pan and simmer gently for 5 minutes then scatter the pepper strips and peas over the top.  Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes or so until the water begins to fall below the level of the rice. 
If the rice grains are not plump enough,  add a little more water to the pan - they won't be fully cooked at this point as it will continue to absorb liquid and will steam through later.

Add the seafood to the pan.  I nestle the halved scallops into the rice and mussels if I'm using them.  The squid and prawns cook easily so these are just sprinkled on top.
Cover the pan with a lid and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes on a low heat.  It doesn't matter if you get a little golden brown toasty rice on the bottom as it's made like that (bit like clay-pot rice you get in Hong Kong Dai-Pai Dong.).  The steaming should make the rice lift off the bottom of the pan.

If you don't have a large enough lid, cover with square of foil and twist corners - it makes the foil tighten and form to shape of pan

Turn off fire and leave covered to steam through for 5-10 minutes and serve.  It's usually served with lemon wedges but we don't find that necessary.

Taa-Daa!  Looks good with mussels too!

This is a polite sized serving - I ate more than this! :0)

This amount makes enough for three hungry people sized portions (that's me, hubby and his lunchbox) or four polite appetites.


  1. Plum Leaf...I am salivating over your mouth-eatering Paella with those fresh seafood..awwww I am hungry and look at those fresh scallops....mmmm lucky you. I can't get fresh scallops that big over here :)

    Minh must be very cute now..a kiss from Aunty Elin :)

  2. Thanks Elin! But the seafood I used was frozen.
    In the past I would go to the fish market in London (1hrs drive away) at 5am on Christmas Eve to get fresh seafood at my parent's request for our chinese feast on Boxing Day. Sometimes we'd get fresh scallops in their shell, & always crab & lobster! sluurrrp!

    Minh is beginning to babble now - very cute it is too! I think he recognises his parents now - when I see him when he is crying because he's lonely, he smiles at me! Hugs & kisses to you from Minh!

  3. Hi there, your little one is cute! Mine already 17 & 14. LOL! How I missed those faces. I was trying to make my first Paella the other day but not enough seafood to go along with it. The rice is very flavourfly though. Yours look really really good. Thanks for sharing & hope you're having a wonderful day.
    Cheers, Kristy